Walden Statement on FCC Process

August 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC -Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission released new program carriage rules and the "Measuring Broadband America" report:

"In a single week the FCC has demonstrated both good and bad process. The process leading to the FCC's report on "˜Measuring Broadband America' was exemplary. The Commission selected a commercial vendor through open, competitive bids; used a transparent process to partner with stakeholders; and leveraged its technical expertise. As a result, the Commission and its partners designed and completed a path-breaking study helpful to all broadband consumers. Just as important, the Commission recognized the limits of its work and declined to make conclusions where its data were too limited.

"In contrast, the process leading to the FCC's decision to adopt standstill rules for program-carriage complaints leaves much to be desired. The FCC based these rules on a four-year-old Notice of Proposed Rule Making that did not provide the text of a single proposed rule and did not clearly indicate a standstill rule was on the table. Regardless of one's position on the merits of the ruling, this needlessly opens the order to challenge and weakens the FCC's credibility. The fact that this comes on the heels of the Third Circuit's recent procedural rebuke in the Prometheus decision makes it all the more puzzling. To avoid these types of controversies and improve the quality of decision-making, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee is considering legislation that would require the FCC to publish the text of a proposed rule before adoption. The Commission has come a long way on process recently, but I am afraid it still has a ways to go."